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Indie Game Reviews

Hello, everyone!
After I posted about the games I’ve platinumed I received a few asks about the Indie games I’ve played, so I figured: “Why not review my favourites?” Below is a list of Indie games I’ve played that I consider above average. Hopefully this list will help people decide if they’re worth playing or not. Keep in mind, though, that these are my opinions. If anyone would like to discuss the games further, please feel free to message me or send me another ask specifying the game you’re interested in. I’m always happy to discuss games. XD

Whispering Willows

Whispering Willows is like a throwback to the 90s computer games that we all loved and played when we were kids. With a spooky atmosphere and almost game board-ish feel, the story takes place on an old mansion property where a young girl named Elena Elkhorn must depend on her Native American roots to find her missing father. Switch between human and soul to solve puzzles, overcome obstacles, and attack enemies. Though a bit slow-paced, the story and gameplay are solid and definitely worth a try.
6/10

CounterSpy

CounterSpy is a fun little platformer that’s almost comedic in nature. You play as a (possibly) British spy during the Cold War, who spies on the Russian and American forces to prevent nuclear detonation on both sides. The missions are pretty straight forward, with you shooting or sneaking your way through enemy territory to discover their plans of attack. If you fail to thwart them … it’s the end of the world! While it isn’t really anything too special, its in-your-face 1970s James Bond style music and gameplay are entertaining as hell, and if you set it to the hardest difficulty, it is a fun challenge. I’d recommend it as a good time-waster.
6/10

Assemblance

Assemblance is a psychological first person thriller, where you play as a man who is forced to repeat a time paradox over and over until you figure out a way to move on. The story is subpar at best, but it’s not terrible. The graphics are beautiful and very relaxing, as is the music. I’ve heard this game be described as a “mind fuck” too, but I’m not sure if I’d give it quite that much credit. Either way, it is a good game if you’re looking for something to pass the time, and if you’re looking for a light challenge.
6/10

Velocibox

Velocibox is a pure challenge game where you control a tiny square that zooms through various obstacle courses. It doesn’t sound like much, but the levels can be extremely frustrating and the trophies are so hard to attain that they’ve only been awarded to a ridiculously small percentage of players– we’re talking hardcore gamers with no life (like me). If you’re looking for a fun challenge, this is the game for you.
6/10

The Park

The Park is a first person, mostly cinematic horror game, where you play as a schizophrenic mother who chases her son through a theme park that she used to visit when she was a child. As you play, you begin to ask yourself if what you’re seeing is real or if it’s just the result of the mother’s mental illness. There are a few jump scares and puzzles to solve, but all and all it’s basically a horror movie, with a child so un-likable he makes you miss the boy from Babadook. The story is worth exploring, however, and the graphics and voice work are topnotch. I’d give it a chance, unless you scare easily.
6/10

Race the Sun

Race the Sun is a meticulous challenger game where you steer a tiny plane through an endless field of obstacles. The objective of the game, aside from collecting trophies, is to simply beat your own record before you crash or run down. You collect extra points by hitting rings, which eventually allows you to upgrade your plane for future levels. While I will admit that at first the game is fairly addictive, it can get a little boring. You can’t memorize the fields because they change and randomize every 24 hours, which is a neat idea, but it still does little to keep players interested. But if you’re looking for a decent challenge, then I highly recommend this game. Personally, I’ve come to use it as a fun time-waster while I download other games.
6.5/10

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a story-based video game where you divulge the disappearance of an entire town. I wouldn’t suggest this game to people who prefer action-packed shooters or tricky platformers, because aside from walking around and watching a beautiful cinematic story unfold, there isn’t much else to do. Don’t get me wrong, though; the game is still highly enjoyable. You play from a first person point of view and collect clues that give you insight to the missing townspeople. Each clue reveals a short story that helps you arrive at the conclusion, in the form of several astral projections. Aside from the creative story and stunning graphics, the voice acting is also incomparable. Definitely worth a play through if you’re into cinematic game play.
6.5/10

The Unfinished Swan

The Unfinished Swan is a first person puzzle game where you play as a young orphaned boy named Monroe. The game is relaxing and wacky, as paint your way through various levels to help Monroe finish his recently deceased mother’s favourite painting. As you play, a world of imagination unfolds, and the air of innocence reminds you what it was like to be a child. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something light-hearted.
7/10

The Fall

The Fall is a puzzle platformer where you play as an advanced robotic spacesuit AI named Arid. The game begins with you crash-landing on a seemingly abandoned planet, with your pilot injured and unresponsive inside you. In order to save him, you search the planet for medical supplies, but soon find that the robotic inhabitants are dangerously malfunctioning. To save your pilot, you must succumb to several tests, forced on you by the head AI, and defeat an army of homicidal robots. The puzzles are fun and challenging, the story is wholly original, and the twist ending makes you think you’re watching The Sixth Sense. If you’re looking for an intelligent Sci-Fi Indie game, you’re looking for The Fall.
7/10

White Night

White Night is a horror survival game where you play as an unnamed man who crashes outside of a haunted estate. Injured and in need of help, he hobbles to the mansion and breaks in, desperate when no one answers the door. Once inside the house, certain events transpire and horror ensues. I won’t spoil the plot, but there is a twist ending and a story worth experiencing. The game has a very noir-type feel to it on top of the horror genre, which I thought was very unique. To beat the game, you must outwit the ghosts that hunt you, solve puzzles, and discover clues that eventually prompt the ending. The game also does an excellent job at making you feel helpless and vulnerable, as your only defences are running, hiding, and depending on matches for light. I personally didn’t have this problem, but I have heard people complain about their eyes hurting after a few hours of gameplay– so as a warning, the game is almost entirely black and white. If you’re not sure if you can handle that, then I’d highly suggest watching a spoiler-free video on YouTube before buying, just to see how well you adjust. Overall, it’s a great game that I highly recommend.
7/10

Contrast

Contrast is a platformer clearly meant for the PC, but it is playable on consol. If I had to describe the setting, I’d say it’s almost Tim Burton-y in nature. You play as a voiceless woman named Dawn, who watches over and guards a little girl named Didi. Didi lives with her poverty-stricken mother in a tiny house in a town filled with corruption and debauchery. With no friends and nowhere to go during the day, Didi sneaks out at night to play; therefore, it is your job to make sure she stays safe. When her father starts meddling with some dangerous loan sharks, however, events transpire and you must help her save her family. Aside from some irritating controls on consol, the game is great and the story, obstacles, and puzzles are magnificent. The voice acting is also highly commendable, which was a pleasant surprise. Didi is actually voiced by a little girl, not an adult playing a child, and she did such an excellent job I thought Disney hired the cast. I definitely recommend this game, especially if you play on PC.
7.5/10

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is another story-based game in which you play as a first person detective searching for a missing boy named Ethan Carter. Much like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the game is almost entirely cinematic with a gripping story and stunning graphics. While exploring various locations, you will find clues and solve intricate puzzles in order to piece together what happened to Ethan. Without spoiling the plot, I can only say that the mystery turns very dark and engaging. Definitely worth a penny or two.
7.5/10

SOMA

SOMA has repeatedly been praised by fans for its “mind-blowing” original story and designs, but I personally took issue with some aspects of the game. I will agree first and foremost that the story is fresh beyond belief: it begins with you, Ethan, booking an appointment with a famous neurologist after viewing a flashback of a car crash. It becomes apparent that Ethan suffered a brain contusion during the accident, which could, at any given moment, kill him. The next day you visit the doctor and agree to an experiment that could help Ethan and others like him. After a long conversation, you get strapped into a machine, then wake up in an underwater, apocalyptic hell. SOMA has also been described as a “mind fuck”, and you might agree, especially when it comes to certain choices you’re forced to make. I personally found the game to be a bit buggy, which is apparently common, slightly slow, and somewhat boring at times. The bulk of the game consists of you exploring a huge map and evading “monsters”, which can be rather irritating when they get too close. There are some horror elements to the game, but nothing spectacular. All and all, it’s worth a quick run through, if not for the story alone.
7.5/10

Type:Rider

Type:Rider is an educational platformer where you play as a colon (two dots) and work your way through several levels to learn about the origins of various forms of print. If you’d rather just play the game you can easily skip the information– but I promise you, it’s fascinating. You can learn about Script, Gothic, Times New Roman, etc. The game itself is a blast, but the history lessons work as an added bonus.
7.5/10

Oxenfree

Oxenfree is an intriguing supernatural mystery graphic adventure where you play as a teenager trapped on a costal island. What at first seems like a harmless trip with friends, it quickly turns into a living nightmare when strange events begin to occur. The story itself is distinctive and gripping, where certain decisions you make help determine the outcome. The game has several endings and multiple puzzles that require independent success or teamwork with the other NPCs. The gameplay is smooth and soothing, the visuals are clean, and the story is outstanding. Highly recommend.
8/10

Feist

Feist is an adorable platformer with some of the most intelligent enemies I’ve ever seen. If you’re up for a challenge, they’ll make sure you’re not disappointed. Though a mostly dark game, with the main character, the enemies, and much of the levels being a black silhouette, the game is fun and endearing. You play as a cute, unidentifiable creature that fights through obstacles to save his abducted partner. The game has a very primordial feel to it, with a sort of “survival of the fittest” connotation. Without the strength or biological advantages that your enemies have, you must rely on your superior intellect. The trophies are also incredibly difficult to achieve, half of them being speed runs, with almost no players having platinumed it. Aside from a few glitches that occur every now and then, the game is definitely worth buying.
8/10

The Swapper

The Swapper is a platformer where you must solve various puzzles by making and erasing copies of your own character. There is a story to follow, set in space, where you begin to experience weird occurrences. Each new area offers harder and harder puzzles, but nothing unmanageable. For me, the true wonders of this game are the graphics and music. The soundtrack is so beautiful and ambient that I found myself downloading the whole score halfway through the game. The map is relatively confusing when you get a bit further in, so you might find yourself lost every now and then. You do have to backtrack to some levels, so I suggest learning the layout early on. All and all, it’s a fun challenge well worth your time.
8/10

Wick

Wick isn’t a game I would recommend to anyone who frightens easily. The game is riddled with jump scares and portrays a haunting story about five dead children and their psychotic killer. Despite being a survival horror, there is a story to explore through certain clues that you can collect while playing. The game has several challenges, including a DLC that answers a lingering question that looms over you throughout the original levels. In order to beat the DLC, though, great memorization of the map and clue locations is required. Wick also holds some of the hardest trophies I’ve ever achieved for an Indie. The game itself takes place in a very small campground at night, where you are pursued by the five dead children. Your only source of light is a candle, which burns out if you don’t locate more. Each level runs longer and longer and introduces a new child every time, each with their own unique form of hunting you. If you decide to brave this game, prepare for a long night.
(Game is not as slow as the gif suggest)
8/10

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Before I get into this game, I must be sure to tell everyone that it is likely a game for children, so I’ll be judging it from a child’s perspective. While I don’t see it winning a ton of awards, even as an adult I’ll admit it’s fun as hell. You play as an octopus with a wife and two children, so already the theme is ridiculous. To make matters worse, your family doesn’t know that you’re an octopus, so you have to do your best to keep it a secret. Throughout the game you must perform various mundane tasks, but as an octopus the controls are intentionally wonky, which makes for some hilarious accidents. There is also a story to follow with a rather adorable ending. The game is colourful, cartoonish, original, and warm-hearted. Perfect for anyone who’s looking for something soft and enjoyable.
8/10

She Wants Me Dead

She Wants Me Dead is a noir-type platformer, possibly set in New York City, where you play as a man trying to outsmart his homicidal cat. The cat, after being neglected by her owner, forces you to work your way through various traps and obstacles. The levels naturally get more and more challenging as you progress, but the game itself is incredibly fun. Additionally, only one song is played throughout every level, but it’s one of the most kickin’ songs I’ve ever heard in a platformer– “She Wants Me Dead” by CAZZETTE vs. AronChupa ft. The High. The beat of the music actually helps you determine when it’s safe to jump, which I thought was really cool. If you’re looking for a decent challenge, I’d highly recommend this game.
8/10

Layers of Fear

Much like Wick, Layers of Fear is a first person horror game filled with jump scares and a recurring theme of helplessness. Nothing scares me, but when I had my sister play this game she got a headache and threw me the controller– it scared her that badly. The game does a stellar job at recounting the story of a painter gone mad as you explore his house and piece together his past. Aside from the spooky atmosphere and wonderful graphics, Layers of Fear also includes one of the most hauntingly beautiful soundtracks I’ve ever heard. If you’re looking for a good mystery/horror game, Layers of Fear would be my first recommendation.
9/10

ABZÛ

ABZÛ is an adventure art video game where you play as a female diver who silently uncovers the ruins of an ancient civilization. The entire game takes place in the ocean, where the eco system seems to be terribly damaged and unbalanced. As you swim through each beautifully crafted level, you discover the reason for the imbalance and work to revitalize the ocean. The graphics are spectacular, the story is new, and, if desired, the game is also educational with nods to marine biology. The overall control of the character takes some getting used to, but I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for something uplifting and peaceful.
9/10

Typoman

Typoman is an adorable little platformer where you play as an all-black typographical character made up of the letters H E R O. The game itself is particularly unique, with every enemy and almost every level being made primarily of letters. The story sports a creative battle of good versus evil in the form of words, with “good” words having positive effects and “bad” words having negative effects. As the hero, you must solve puzzles and traverse through a post-apocalyptic wasteland to defeat the evil running rampant through the streets. The graphics are gorgeous, the story is amazing, and if not for the game’s unfortunate tendency to crash during the mini games and mild glitches, I would have given it a perfect ten.
9/10

Unravel

Buy it. Just buy it. I shouldn’t have to say anything else, but I will.
Unravel is a beautiful Swedish platformer where you play as a little red character named Yarny. As you may have already guessed, Yarny is made of yarn, and as you control him you embark on a journey to find multiple missing ornaments for a photo album. Each ornament produces a page of pictures that “unravels” the story of Yarny’s family (humans who don’t know that he can move). Each level presents a menagerie of fun obstacles and atmospheres. Aside from the flawless controls and beautiful story line, Unravel impresses players with gorgeous graphics and a soundtrack that could put Mozart to shame. Highly, highly recommend.
10/10

Inside

Inside is a puzzle-platformer adventure game that really tugs at your imagination. The story is multi-layered and brilliantly crafted without a single word of dialogue. Without knowing or understanding where the story is headed, you play as a nameless boy who traverses through many psychological puzzles, with danger lurking around every corner. Since the game’s release, no one has been able to decipher what the story is truly about, but if I had to guess, I’d say it presents an Orwellian dystopia that forces mind control on the masses and foreshadows our eventual future. I believe the entire game is a controlled experiment, wrought by the facility that you’re trying to escape– but really, who’s to say for sure? The controls, story, and graphics are crisp, seasoned, and endearing, and they convey a uniqueness of the highest calibre. Highly recommend.
10/10

Limbo

Limbo is a two-dimensional puzzle-platformer designed by the same company that produced Inside. Much like Inside, you play as a nameless boy who awakens in the middle of a forest on "the edge of hell”. How the boy died or if he’s even truly dead is a mystery. While searching for your sister, you encounter other hostile children, mechanical traps, murderous creatures, and all around unfriendly environments. As you play, you begin to wonder if anyone is trustworthy and if there’s a way out of the forest at all. The game does not hold your hand, so it is up to you to depend on your wits to succeed. Besides being pleasantly enigmatic, the gameplay is also awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys peaceful but challenging platformers.
10/10

Journey

Journey is an interactive adventure game where you assume the role of a figure clad in robes. While able to play alone, online gameplay allows other players to connect with you, which enables you to share the adventure. The story is silently narrated through cut scenes that you unlock as you venture through the desert, eventually ending up at a snowy mountain. This game is definitely meant as a “feel good” type of platformer, with music and graphics that put some mainstream games to shame. The story consists of you, the character, realizing the fall of an ancient civilization while avoiding the giant automatons left over from the war that destroyed it. I would also argue that the journey you embark on is a quest to find your ancestors, who later guide you to paradise. While I couldn’t confirm this and it might not be true, I personally believe that this game was also heavily inspired by the Hinduism. For anyone looking for a relaxing, family-friendly adventure, this is the game I would recommend.
10/10

Little Nightmares

I’m sure that by now most of you have heard of Little Nightmares. Personally, my sister and I were looking forward to this game long before it hit the mainstream, and I’m happy to say we were not disappointed. Ironically enough, Little Nightmares ended up being one of the best Indie games I’ve ever played. With a Spirited Away meets Tim Burton feel, Little Nightmares gives us a puzzle-platformer horror adventure game superior to all others. No one knows the true plot of the story, which has sprung theory after theory after theory from fans, as you work your way through the mysterious Maw and avoid being eaten. I also have my own theories, but if I went into that we’d be here forever. I’ll simply say this: Little Nightmares triggers your imagination and keeps you on the edge of your seat. While some people have complained about the slow load times, the only complaint I have is that it’s relatively short. I could have played this game for days without getting bored. The horror element is almost kid-friendly, the graphics are stupendous, and the character designs are out of this world. I might even start collecting the comics.
10/10

most political debates on this site include one person desperately citing a thousand sources, pleading for them to look at even one of them as their opponent shakes their head, firmly puts their foot down and says “Without capitalism how would we have x-box?”

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Ashi wasn’t the only character Tara voiced who turned out to be naked the entire time. Here’s something obscure for all you guys and gals. XD

How to keep someone safe through drug addiction

Here are a few things I have learned to keep my partner safe while using. This may be controversial to some people or described as ‘enabling’ but I think knowing what to do and what not to do will save lives for sure.
Drug addiction is a crippling, awful thing and I do not advise anyone to take any drug without extensive knowledge and precaution.
However if you want to keep the people you love safe then these things may really help, especially in life saving situations.

1. NEVER LET THEM SLEEP ON THEIR BACK.
This has caused deaths in many cases because when using opiates the body goes into respiratory depression (slowed breathing) and it makes it much harder for them to breathe and much easier for them to choke if they sleep on their backs.
Wake them up if you have to. Turn them into the recovery position (on their left or right side, hands away from the face, legs crossed) and make sure there is no obstructions in their mouth. Keep checking up on them throughout the night, if you can, invest in a blood pressure monitor just for peace of mind to check their pulse isn’t too low. I know the normal range for my boyfriend, and can see on there if it’s anything abnormal.

2.MAKE SURE THEY GET PLENTY OF WATER.
Whilst using, they are not in a normal frame of mind, ie: breakfast lunch or dinner aren’t going to be a priority when they are withdrawing or high / fully sedated. The ideal amount of water to consume in a day is 2.2 litres so try and get them to have a few glasses of water every now and then. Check their temperature and if needed get a cold flannel to cool them down, this can help with withdrawal.

3. BE AS SUPPORTIVE AS YOU CAN.
This may seem obvious, but those trips to the clinic or the hours trying to score can be really draining mentally as well as physically for someone, especially when they are withdrawing. Knowing you are there for them, holding their hand and being there will make a world of difference. Your love and support will encourage the person in recovery because it will give them something to fight for if they know you are there helping them and shining a small light on a really dark situation.


4. KNOW THE WITHDRAWAL SIGNS FOR YOUR LOVED ONE.
These are a list of basic symptoms my partner experiences and are common as well.
- irritation/irrational anger
- sweating
- nausea and diarrhoea
-panic attacks
-anxiety
-fidgety
-shakes
-high blood pressure
-severe migraines

5. HELP THEM WITH BASIC NEEDS.
What I mean by this is, most people using drugs have pretty bad mental health and are struggling mentally foremost, but this is a catalyst for poor hygiene, bad physical health and emotional withdrawal.
Try and get them to go for a walk every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Fresh air and exercise is the best medicine next to good nutrition.
Help them tidy up, wash and clean themselves. It’s likely their living space is going to be dirty so where you can, put things in the bin, get rid of any used needles or bloody tissues and make sure they are tied up in a big rubbish bag and disposed of. Get them any deodorant or nice products to help them with good self care as this can be a real help in recovery as well. When I’m not feeling good a shower and a shave always makes me feel better.
Try and get them to talk about how their feeling, if it’s good or if it’s bad, and just listen. I’m not asking you to be a therapist, just be there when they need someone to share their pain and to emotionally support them. It will do wonders for their self esteem and also recovery.

6. UNDERSTAND YOU MAY HAVE TO PUT THINGS ON HOLD.
Drug addiction is a life long battle this person is going to have to deal with. Just like any disorder or addiction it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time and effort and a want to get better. This means their needs will have to come first when they are seeking help, especially in the beginning. If you want your loved one to get better you are going to have to accept your me time will be put on hold for a little while and things you have to do will have to be moved around in order to help the person suffering. Remember it is them going through this, but also you, so when you get a chance do take some time for yourself and remind yourself what a great job you are doing by taking care of them in this time if need. You are literally saving a human beings’ life, I don’t know anything more rewarding than that.

7. RESPECT YOUR LOVED ONE.
What I mean by this is, don’t shout about it to everyone you know that this person is going through drug addiction. It’s terrible enough as it is, without people talking about it and making them feel even worse about themselves. They will be much more likely to use / hurt themselves if they are made to feel ashamed or guilty about their problems. That’s not a place I would wish anyone to be. The people they care most about will be informed, and if that’s you then consider it a privilege that they have chosen you to be someone they can confide in.

8. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL AN AMBULANCE.
If you see any signs in your loved one which worry you or make you feel concerned, do not hesitate to call the emergency services. That is what they are there for.
If someone is nodding out on opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine,
oxies etc) check their breathing and shake them a little just to make sure they are okay. If they go anywhere by themselves whilst high be sure to check on them for example in the bath they could nod out and drown if left alone for too long.
If you know they are on drugs and have passed out on the floor and aren’t responding, check their pulse and immediately call an ambulance. This is when it is essential to get help. Do not hit or try and shake them vigorously as this can cause brain damage. Wait for the emergency services to arrive.

If your loved one is an opiate user, CARRY NALOXONE! And learn how to administer it. Naloxone will completely reverse all side effects so if they are not responding this will bring them back to a sober state but they will be fully withdrawing. Call emergency services straight after administering the naloxone.

I can’t think of anything much more to add other than just to love these people and to treat them as you would anybody else who is suffering and in pain. Your love will help them, no matter how tough it seems, no matter how many sleepless nights and no matter how drained you may feel, I promise you it is worth it when you keep these people safe and alive.

From A, with love x
P.s my ask box is open for any questions or help with keeping your loved one safe through drug addiction.

You almost did it Sonic mania...

3D Sonic fan: “good to see 2D sonic get some well deserved glory that is long overdue!”

a bias 2D Sonic fan: “Sonic mania is the best sonic game ever! way better than those crappy 3D Adventure boost to win games that only retards play.”

3D sonic fan:

At least the games are still fun.

and Knuckles.

michael!!
jeremy heere
michael!!

anonymous asked: yo idk if you are still making audio posts/taking requests but just. in more than survive when michael shows up and jeremy yells his name 💯👌👌👀👀👀

i didn’t know if you wanted me to do something stupid with it so i left it alone, enjoy!

anonymous asked:

Au where petunia is a witch and lily is a muggle?

When the letter arrives, Lily is almost as excited as Petunia. She writes Albus Dumbledore to ask if she can go to, and if she cries a little when the answer comes back no she doesn’t tell anyone. Lily waves from the train platform, writes diligently, and listens with excitement whenever her big sister deigns to share stories of magic.

Petunia gets Sorted Slytherin, where she falls into a mutually-venemous friendship with Severus Snape, who she had considered dirty and poor when he was skulking around Lily in their little neighborhood, lighting leaves on fire like a baby arsonist, but who now seems like the best ally in a pool of ugly little fish.

The blood-purists are their normal asshole selves, which Petunia responds to with busybody eavesdropping, cruel gossip, and manipulative emotional bullying. Severus calls her mudblood in their fifth year (it’s not the first time) and joins the Death Eaters. Tuney calls him a greasy git of a wanker and they still have lunch away from prying eyes now and then.

When the war comes, Petunia does not fight in it. She marries a Hufflepuff boy named Vincent Dunsley who spends their entire first date telling her about his junior position in the Ministry and his planned thirty-six bureaucratic steps to the top of the food chain. Vincent has no problem with Muggleborns, or at least not ones who behave as properly as Petunia.

Lily does fight. She’s been reading the Daily Prophet for years as she sits through history class dreaming of brooms and punching bullies on the playground. At seventeen, she writes Albus Dumbledore again. When he still writes back no, she packs a bag and shows up on the Order’s doorstep.

Alice Longbottom gives her a place to stay, some spare robes, and teaches her how to fly– Lily hopes, wrapped in a warm blanket while they sip cocoa and discuss action plans, that if she’d gone to Hogwarts she’d have been good enough to get Sorted Hufflepuff. Frank beams at his wife in the dim yellow light.

Of the Marauders, Lily meets Sirius first– shaggy hair and strong bones, he’s a tall glass of water and he’s anxiously watching a skinny, scarred boy sleep on the sofa. They’re an hour off a mission and Remus crashed as soon as they got back to headquarters. The first thing Sirius Black, troublemaker and risktaker, says to her is “Shh! You walk like an elephant.”

She’d snap back, but Remus does look that worn down, curled on the cushions.

Peter and James are in the kitchen, shoveling sandwiches down their gullets that are the size of their heads. James staggers to his feet when she comes in. “Hi. Uh, new recruit?”

“Something like that.”

James shoves his hair out of his eyes with one hand and thrusts the other one out in her direction. “James Potter,” he says. “Beauxbatons? I don’t think I ever saw you at Hogwarts.”

She grins. “Lily Evans,” she says. “Cokeworth. And I’d shake your hand, but you’ve got mustard on it.”

Lily defies the Dark Lord and his forces three times, with James’s wand at her back, with Remus’s and Sirius’s and Peter’s. They tell her about Hogwarts and its secrets, and she brings them Muggle candy bars and the boxes of X-Men comic books from under her bed. No one gets chocolate smudges on her pages, under threat of James’s disappointed-in-you face, which he’s been practicing.

Severus Snape hears about a Muggle Evans on the warfront. “Petunia’s not a Muggle,” he snaps when Dolohov mocks him for it, but Crabbe cradles his broken arm and keeps talking– about green eyes, red hair like a war banner– and Severus’s stomach sinks low in his gut, cold and aching.

Severus Snape overhears a prophecy and he tells it to his Lord. Lily Evans Potter is the mother of a halfblood boy with a mess of dark hair. Lily is in Augusta Longbottom’s living room, playing peekaboo with Harry and Neville, because Alice and Frank are already in St. Mungo’s, because she does not know that she is soon to be not a soldier but a fugitive. Her child has no scars, yet.

On Halloween night 1981, Tom Riddle goes to the Godric’s Hollow home that Peter Pettigrew betrayed. He kills James in the front room, wand in hand. He kills Lily in the nursery, after giving her a chance to step aside. He tries to kill Harry, but he fails.

Harry goes to his closest living relatives– his aunt Petunia, uncle Vincent, and cousin Dudley. He sleeps in a little room just off the kitchen, which he thinks used to be a broom closet. They hate the attention he brings when he’s dragged behind his aunt at the grocery store, so they leave Harry home when they go to Diagon Alley, Ministry potlucks, or the evening shows that Dudley fusses through, fists full of pumpkin pasties.

Harry knows how to wash dishes by hand, how to cook bacon without burning it (most mornings), and how to capture the spiders in the broom closet and escort them carefully outside. For his birthday Dudley gets a toy broom. For his, Harry gets an Albus Dumbledore Chocolate Frog card because Dudley already has fifteen and didn’t want that one. Petunia likes to peer over the hedge into the yard of Mrs. Figg, the squib who lives next door, and snigger about how she has to do her laundry without magic.

When Harry is ten years old, his Hogwarts letter comes in the mail and the Dunsleys are surprised. “I wasn’t sure,” Petunia sniffs. “I mean, with my sister’s blood in you and everything, anything could have happened.”